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2016 College Football Playoff Predictions: Week 5, Where is the Big Ten?

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Have the Michigan Wolverines finally cracked the Top 4?

College Football Playoff National Championship - Head Coach Press Conference Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Wow, what a week of great Top 10 matchups. In a week where #3 takes on #5, #7 takes on #10 and #4 takes on #8 we are bound to have some shakeups in the playoff picture. First, quick hitter recaps:

  • #5 Louisville Cardinal at #3 Clemson Tigers - Opposite in our predictions but still a great game nonetheless. Clemson jumped out to a solid lead in this game and the refs almost let it get out of hand with a controversial choke hold that sent Lamar Jackson through the roof. He regained his composure in the second half and mounted a great comeback that fell a yard short on 4th down inside the 20, where controversially the chain gang was way off the field and not completely visible (cheering on Clemson if you’re into conspiracies).
  • #8 Wisconsin Badgers at #4 Michigan Wolverines - Defense was the name of the game here. Defense rained in this 14-7 matchup where Michigan won despite missing three field goals. Jourdan Lewis made a spectacular diving interception to finish the game off and prevent the game winning drive.
  • #7 Stanford Cardinal at #10 Washington Huskies - This game was a blowout from start to finish and not in the direction you expected. Stanford came into the game the presumed favorites but were dominated the entire game as Washington picked on the backup CBs starting for Stanford en route to a 44-7 victory. Ouch.

All of that to say, wow what competition there is for the third and fourth spots in the playoff! Let’s take a look at how our writers voted:

"Writer" Number 1 Seed Number 2 Seed Number 3 Seed Number 4 Seed
Aaron Yorke Alabama Clemson Washington Michigan
WSR Alabama Ohio State Clemson Washington
MNW Alabama Ohio State Clemson Washington
Creightonm Alabama Ohio State Clemson Michigan
alnamais Alabama Ohio State Clemson Washington
DJ Alabama Ohio State Clemson Michigan
Candy Alabama Ohio State Clemson Washington
Graham Alabama Ohio State Clemson Houston
Jesse Ohio State Alabama Clemson Washington
Insertname Alabama Ohio State Clemson Michigan
LPW Alabama Ohio State Clemson Washington
Thump Alabama Ohio State Clemson Washington
Stew Michigan Ohio State Clemson Tennessee
zuzu Alabama Ohio State Clemson Washington

*StewMonkey13 uses his own rating system’s top 4 as his votes

Unsurprisingly Alabama and Ohio State dominated the top two spots in the predictions. Clemson’s impressive win over Louisville was enough to lock them into the third spot but the fourth spot was very interesting. Washington, Michigan, Houston and Tennessee (?!) all received votes. Here are the results and the new Top 4:

No. 1 Seed Alabama
No. 2 Seed Ohio State
No. 3 Seed Clemson
No. 4 Seed Washington

*Michigan (8), Houston (1), and Tennessee (1) were the runner ups

There you have it! Unlike last week there aren’t three Top 10 matchups but we do have one along with a few that could start becoming contenders or pose a threat:

  • #9 Tennessee at #8 Texas A&M: I’m not sold at all on Tennessee. They’ve looked shaky all season but rankings love them because of the SoS early on this season. Similarly, A&M has benefitted from a strong SoS with UCLA, Auburn and Arkansas already this season and winning all of those games. I think A&M wins this one, easily, and removes Tennessee from any playoff conversation.
  • #1 Alabama at #16 Arkansas: Are we surprised Bert has a RB averaging 5.5ypc? I’m not. That will change this week when they play Alabama. Arkansas is probably a year or two away from really competing but they may challenge Alabama for a half before Alabama pulls away.
  • #23 Florida State at #10 Miami: Let’s get this out of the way, Florida State should not be ranked. They were anihalated by Louisville and lost to UNC In consecutive weeks. That being said, Miami has a chance to enter the playoff conversation with a win over FSU and one that won’t come easy given the talent on FSU. Win, and even better do it convincingly? You may get some looks.